2009

04 June 2009

Challenges Of Rural Transport Spelled Out

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies has spelled out the challenges of getting about in rural West Wales.

Speaking at the AGM of the Preseli Rural Transport Association, he outlined the difficulties of travelling around the area by bus and train. Mr Davies said he was lobbying the Welsh Assembly Government to implement the recommendations of the Jacobs Report which included adding another five rail services a day to Fishguard.

"Arriva Trains Wales and others have seen an increase in passengers of 13 per cent per year over the past five years, where services have been reintroduced," he told the AGM at Café Beca.

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Students Mustn't Miss Out Because Of Post Code Lottery

Sixth formers mustn’t miss out on vital education because the Welsh Assembly Government is playing a postcode lottery with funding, says Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies.  

Mr Davies, who is also Shadow Welsh Education Minister, says that alarming evidence is emerging of an imbalance in sixth form funding.

Following mass demonstrations, the Welsh Assembly Government was forced into an embarrassing u‐turn on plans to cut sixth form funding earlier this year.

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Welsh Pupils Do Well ToThrive In Crumbling Classrooms

Schoolchildren are doing well to thrive in classrooms that are crumbling because of underinvestment, says Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies.

Mr Davies, who is also Shadow Welsh Education Minister, was responding to the news that there is at least a £1.6 billion backlog of school repairs across Wales.

A local education expert estimated this week that schools in Wales are lagging 40 to 50 years behind those in England in terms of physical upkeep.

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02 June 2009

Ambition Needed To Tackle Underinvestment In School Buildings

RESPONDING to today's claims that school building maintenance and modernisation in Wales is 'decades' behind England, Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies AM said:

"If we are to tackle the legacy of underinvestment in school building modernisation the Assembly Government needs to be far more ambitious than it has been to date in accessing all available funds.

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Teachers 'Not Up To Scratch' In Maths Findings Worrying

RESPONDING to today's Estyn report on best practice in mathematics for pupils aged 3 to 7 years old, Shadow   Minister Paul Davies said:  

"I'm very concerned that this report has found some primary school pupils in Wales are not being challenged enough in  their math lessons.

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25 May 2009

Angry Neighbours Stage Public Meeting Against Community Woodland

Residents angry that a "community" woodland was bought with half a million pounds of public money are holding a public meeting to discuss the issue.

The Ffynone and Cilgwyn woodlands near Boncath were bought by the Growing Heart Workers Co‐operative two years ago.

The purchase was funded by a £500,000 grant given to them under the Cydcoed scheme managed by the Forestry Commission for Wales (FCW). But local residents are angry that they weren't consulted before the woods were bought by the co‐operative "for community use" and so they took their grievances to local AM Paul Davies.

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22 May 2009

Welsh Conservatives Tackling Educational Reform In Wales

WELSH Conservatives are looking into introducing a programme of 'Free Schools' or academies in Wales. In a keynote speech today, the Leader of the Official Opposition Nick Bourne will unveil the party's plans to reform the Welsh education system.

After ten years of Labour Assembly Governments, it is clear the education system has fallen into a desperate state.

The figures speak for themselves:

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21 May 2009

Call For More Funding For Voluntary Sector

Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies has made a plea in the Welsh Assembly for extra funding for voluntary organisations.

Mr Davies pointed out that there are 1.5 million volunteers in Wales and that their work plays a vital role in society.

"In many areas, the third sector provides high quality services, which are often services that the state is unable to provide," he told the First Minister.

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20 May 2009

FCW Admits Failing To Safeguard Future Of 'Community' Woodland

Forestry Commission Wales (FCW) has admitted failing to safeguard the future of a "community" woodland near Boncath which was bought by a co‐operative with a half million pounds' worth of public money.

The Growing Heart Workers Co‐operative was given the money under the Cydcoed scheme, managed by the Forestry Commission Wales, to buy Ffynone and Cilgwyn woodlands just over two years ago.

The group will be monitored by the FCW for the next 20 years to ensure that commitments are met. If they aren't, then the co‐operative could be forced to hand some of the grant money back.

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Deskbound Children Not Getting Broad Learning Experience

FEWER children are taking part in educational visits to Wales' historic sites, Welsh Conservatives have learned.

Figures obtained by the party show a 21 per cent drop in visits by school children to sites maintained by Cadw over the last decade.

In 2008-9 there were 86,956 education visits to Cadw sites compared to 110,096 in 1999-2000.

Shadow Education Minister Paul Davies AM warned that youngsters were missing out on a vital part of their schooling.

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14 May 2009

AM Gives CHC Announcement Cautious Welcome

Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member Paul Davies has given a cautious welcome to a stay of execution for Pembrokeshire's Community Health Council (CHC).

Welsh Health Minister Edwina Hart, has announced that instead of merging the local CHC with its counterparts in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire, all three should be allowed to develop proposals for working together.

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08 May 2009

Minister's Good Reason To Visit Haverfordwest

A Haverfordwest inventor so impressed local AM Paul Davies with his business idea that he's backing him all the way.

Andrew Reason spent 12 years perfecting the Reason washing machine which loads via a pullout drawer, takes twice the amount of washing of a normal machine and yet uses just a fraction of the power and water.

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07 May 2009

Queries Over Community Woodland Taken To Rural Affairs Minister

Fears over the way a "community" woodland near Boncath has been bought and managed have been taken to the top by Preseli Pembrokeshire AM Paul Davies.

Mr Davies called a meeting so that residents worried about the Ffynone and Cilgwyn woodland could raise their concerns.

"I have now taken a list of 80 valid queries that came out of that meeting to the Rural Affairs Minister," said Mr Davies.

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06 May 2009

High Response Level Shows Strength Of Feeling For CHC

Twenty per cent of all the responses to the Wales‐wide consultation on the merger of Community Health Councils (CHCs) have come from Pembrokeshire, proving the strength of feeling on the issue, says local AM Paul Davies.

The Welsh Assembly Government plans to scrap Pembrokeshire CHC and merge it with Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire's health watchdogs. The consultation into the proposals has just finished and despite all 19 CHCs in Wales being under threat by far the most responses have come from West Wales.

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02 May 2009

Pembrokeshire's 6th Formers Mustn't Lose Out In Post16 Education Revamp

Shadow Welsh Education Minister Paul Davies has expressed fears that Pembrokeshire's 6th formers may lose out if post 16 education in the County is reorganised.  

The Preseli Pembrokeshire Assembly Member is seeking reassurances that youngsters studying at the County's schools won't be penalised under Government plans to change the way sixth forms and colleges operate.  

"The Welsh Assembly Government has said it wants to "promote greater joint working and integration between schools and further education institutions", explained Mr Davies.

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